Letter from the Department of Strategic Engagement
Howdy!
We would like to say thank you to those of you who joined us in Austin for Orange & Maroon Legislative Day 2017. Your dedication to serving the state of Texas and Texas A&M University, whether as an Aggie Advocate or an OMLD volunteer, is a shining example of our core values of selfless service and loyalty. 
In this combined February and March edition, we will recap Orange & Maroon Legislative Day 2017 and feature this year's recipient of the Olin "Tiger" Teague Award in our Former Student Spotlight series. We'll congratulate a former student for a recent accomplishment and close with the February edition of "Around The Association," which features Orange & Maroon Legislative Day 2017. 
Thanks and gig 'em!
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Former State Representative Olin
Former Student Spotlight - The 2017 Olin “Tiger” Teague Award Winner
Texas A&M University is fortunate to have so many former students who are willing to step up and serve others through government service. In an effort to recognize those who do, this year - The Association of Former Students presented the Olin "Tiger" Teague Award, named in honor of Mr. Olin “Tiger” Teague ’32 , to a former student who has truly exemplified selfless service throughout his life.
Upon the completion of a degree in agricultural education, Teague served in the National Guard and the U.S. Army. He took part in the Allied landing in Normandy on D-Day in 1944 and in the next six months would become the second most decorated U.S. combat soldier of World War II. Teague received three Purple Hearts, three Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Army Commendation Ribbon. Along with his unit (First Battalion, 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Division), he also won the Presidential Unit Citation, which is awarded for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. He was discharged from the Army in 1946 with the rank of colonel.
Later that same year, he went on to serve Texas and the sixth congressional district for 36 years in the U.S. House of Representatives until his retirement in 1978. Throughout his time in public office, Congressman Teague became known for his work on veterans' issues and the space program. For his dedicated service in the military and in Congress, The Association of Former Students and Texas A&M University awarded Congressman Teague with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1966. 
Former State Representative John C. Otto '70
This year, it was our honor to present the inaugural Olin "Tiger" Teague Award to another truly dedicated, selfless servant - Former State Representative John C. Otto '70. 
During his time at Texas A&M, Representative Otto served as a Ross Volunteer, was a member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, and led the band as head drum major during his senior year. After his graduation in 1970 with a degree in accounting, he received his commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. 
He served six terms in the Texas House of Representatives, holding numerous leadership positions, including vice chair of the Ways & Means Committee and, during the 84th Legislative Session, chairman of the Appropriations Committee. As chairman he was instrumental in working with state leaders to provide increased funding for higher education. His involvement was an essential component in creating the Texas Research University Fund, which is critical for the continued success of Texas A&M.
For his extraordinary work while in the House, Otto was named "Freshman of the Year" by the House Republican Caucus, "Rookie of the Year" by Texas Monthly magazine, and "Most Valuable Freshman" by Capitol Inside. He was named to Texas Monthly’s “Ten Best Legislators” list twice and in 2011 received the "Citizen of the Year" award from the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Orange & Maroon Legislative Day 2017
The Honorable Brooks Landgraf '03 addresses OMLD 2017 volunteers and guests Ken and Kristine Hall '89 are a house divided Former State Representative, Steve Holzheauser '75, Vice Chancellor Tommy Williams '78, and Former State Representative, John C. Otto '70
Orange & Maroon Legislative Day 2017
On February 15, The Association of Former Students was proud to host the eighth biennial Orange & Maroon Legislative Day in partnership with the Texas Exes. This event serves to bring together a grassroots network of current students, former students, and friends of Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin to advocate for higher education in Texas. This year's event was our largest yet and we are happy to report that we had a successful trip to the Capitol.
Volunteers discussed two critical issues impacting higher education with our legislators - Higher Education Finance and Tier 1 Research Funding. 
Higher Education Finance
State formula funding directly supports the universities’ core academic mission—teaching. Continued cuts to higher education funding place increased pressure on students and families. Stable, predictable state funding promotes efficiency and better planning for students and families.
The biggest drivers of student debt are not graduating at all or in an untimely manner. Without sufficient support from the Legislature, there are fewer class sections, which delays accessibility to courses and availability of enriching opportunities for students and worsens the student debt crisis. Texas A&M University has the fastest average time to undergraduate degree and highest graduation rate for both full-time freshmen students and transfer students in the state. Continued support from the Legislature is essential to maintaining this achievement and ensuring that Texas A&M's tradition of excellence in education remains strong.
Tier 1 Research Funding
Support for the Governor’s University Research Initiative and investment in the Texas Research University Fund are critical to the success of research at UTAustin and Texas A&M.
These two funds allow the state's two flagship universities to compete with other nationally ranked research institutions. By providing these resources, the Legislature creates an opportunity for Texas A&M and UT– Austin to successfully recruit and retain the best faculty and students.
The success of research at these two universities provides more than scientific breakthroughs and invaluable learning opportunities, it also creates the equivalent of 18,335 new jobs each year to ensure the success of Texans. Additionally, Tier–1 research at Texas A&M University and UTAustin has generated $2.7 billion in sponsored research in the past two years for projects like autonomous vehicle research and anthrax treatment.
Aggie and Longhorn Representatives gather to read the Orange & Maroon Legislative Day House of Representatives Resolution Jeffrey Claybrook '15, Texas A&M Student Body Executive Vice President Dan Rosenfield '17, and The Association of Former Students Board of Directors Chairman Phil Miner '80 Bo Bradbury '89, Steve Cooper '78, Dwain Mayfield '59, and Alexandra Gonzalez '15
The Honorable Leighton Schubert '05 calls his fellow Aggie legislators to the front of the House Chambers for OMLD 2017 Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young addresses OMLD 2017 volunteers The Honorable Richard Raymond meets with OMLD volunteers
More OMLD 2017 Photos
Former Texas Governer Rick Perry '72
Congratulations to Governor Rick Perry '72 on his confirmation as the U.S. Secretary of Energy.
On March 2, the United States Senate voted to confirm former Texas governor Rick Perry '72 as the next Secretary of Energy. We congratulate Secretary Perry and look forward to hearing of his continued success in this new leadership role.
Around The Association - February 2017
This month's edition of “Around The Association” features Orange & Maroon Legislative Day 2017. As previously mentioned, hundreds of Aggies and Longhorns came together in Austin on February 15 to advocate on behalf of Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin and higher education in Texas. Click the video below to hear from some of those in attendance, including one of our Aggie legislators!
The Association of Former Students serves current and former students through scholarships, programming, and events. The Association is able to create these opportunities through the generous gifts of former students and friends of Texas A&M who wish to impact Texas A&M through the Century Club. If you are interested in impacting Texas A&M through The Association of Former Students, we encourage you to click the button below to help Pass It Back and Pay It Forward.  
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